Voting in Hawaii
Hawaii conducts statewide elections in even-numbered years. The primary election is held on the second Saturday in August and the general election is held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.
Pursuant to Act 136, SLH 2019, elections are conducted by mail. All registered voters automatically receive their ballot in the mail approximately eighteen (18) days prior to the election. Ballots are sent to the mailing address provided with the voter's voter registration. To register or update your voter registration, visit Voter Registration.
The primary election nominates candidates to represent political parties in the general election. Similarly, candidates who do not belong to a political party will be nominated to the general election by meeting the qualifications as a nonpartisan candidate running in a partisan contests.
Hawaii voters do not declare a political affiliation with the voter registration pursuant to the Hawaii State Constitution, ensuring every voter's right to secrecy. On the primary election ballot, voters must first select a political affiliation and then vote for candidates of the political affiliation of their choice only.
Voters may also vote for candidates for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and county contests regardless of party affiliation.
The general election is a candidate contest, meaning that voters may vote for the candidate of their choice regardless of political affiliation. Voters will select federal, state, county, and Office of Hawaiian Affairs candidates, as well as State Constitutional Amendments and/or Charter Amendments.
Hawaii does not conduct a presidential primary. The political parties independently conduct presidential caucuses to nominate candidates for president and vice-president. For information on how to participate in the party-run presidential caucuses, contact the qualified political parties directly. The Electoral College elects the president and vice-president of the United States. Learn more about the Electoral College.
Registering to Vote
To register to vote in the State of Hawaii, you must be:
- A U.S. Citizen
- A resident of Hawaii
- At least sixteen (16) years old.
- Hawaii law allows qualified individuals to pre-register at sixteen (16) years of age. Upon reaching eighteen (18) years of age, they will be automatically registered and mailed a ballot.
Voting by Mail
Keep Your Voter Registration Current
Ballots are mailed to the mailing address associated with your voter registration. If you move to a new residence, change your mailing address or name, you must update your voter registration. You may check online or contact your County Elections Division to confirm that your registration record is current.
Receiving Your Ballot
You will receive a mail ballot packet approximately eighteen (18) days prior to the election. Your packet consists of a ballot, ballot secrecy sleeve, and a prepaid postage return ballot envelope.
Voters with special needs may request for an alternate format ballot by contacting their County Elections Division.
Returning Your Ballot
You may return your voted ballot by mail or in person at a designated place of deposit within your county. Voted ballots must be received by your County Elections Division by 7:00 p.m. on Election Day.
Tracking Your Ballot
You may check on the status of your ballot, whether it has been mailed and/or received, by contacting your County Elections Division.
Processing Your Ballot
Upon receipt of your return envelope, your County Elections Division validates the signature to confirm your identity. After your signature is validated, your ballot will be forwarded to state election officials to be counted.
Voting at a Voter Service Center
The County Elections Divisions establish voter service centers that will be open 10 days prior and on Election Day. Services include accessible in person voting and same day registration.
Frequently Asked Questions
You must be a registered voter to receive a ballot. Your Clerk’s Office will mail your ballot packet approximately 18 days before the election.
Once you have voted your ballot, simply place the ballot in the secrecy sleeve ensuring your right to secrecy, and then place into the return envelope. Be sure to sign the return envelope. A return envelope without a signature will not be counted. The return envelope is postage paid via the U.S. Postal Service and addressed to your Clerk’s Office.
You may return your voted ballot: by mail, or in-person at a designated place of deposit. All ballots must be received by the Clerk’s Office by 7:00 p.m. on Election Day. Postmarks do not count!
Last Updated on March 12, 2021
Last Updated on March 12, 2021